RE: First Night/Mask irritation
First post. I have absolutely nothing to add, but boy do I need to commiserate. It's 4 in the morning, and I desperately need to sleep, and as usual I have just spent a frustrating hour fiddling with my annoying, useless mask, when I could have been sound asleep.
I do no for a minute understand people who say the mask shouldn't be tight. The routine with me goes like this: I put the mask on and begin adjusting it. I start loose, and it slides around, blows cold air directly into my eyeballs, and makes loud farting noises against my cheeks every time I move a micron or relax my jaw. So I tighten it a little bit. Doesn't help at all. Tighten it a little more. Still doesn't help at all. Keep tightening in increments until the lower strap is holding my head immobile and cutting into the skin of my neck and the top strap is so tight I begin to get a headache. Then I tighten it a little more, and it stops blowing air into my eyeballs and making farting noises — for a while two or three minutes, sometimes. Then the whole process starts again. After about an hour of this routine, I finally get it balanced perfectly and manage to lay perfectly still and not move my jaw for long enough that it stays in place long enough to fall asleep. I wake up in the morning drained, exhausted, and feeling like I haven't slept at all and am useless all day, exactly like I felt before I started putting myself through this nightly torture session.
I honestly cannot imagine how people find relief using this torture device. It does absolutely nothing but make my nights awful. I can't believe anybody actually sticks with this. My mask was ok the first 2-3 weeks, and then it sort of wore out, and the last week or so has been a nightmare. The last few nights, I've started to feel like the catharsis of smashing my machine to pieces would be far better than keeping it around and continuing to torture myself trying to get it right. Two nights ago, after an hour of fiddling with it when I desperately needed to sleep so I could be up in the morning, I actually lost my temper and did try to smash my mask, but it got caught on the tube, which saved it from the impact. I left it laying on the floor, and without it had the best night of sleep I've had in a month. The living hell of years of severe sleep apnea was far preferable to this.
I'm tired of spending my nights like this. It's only been a month and I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. My sleep disturbance is so severe my doctor said I might be able to go on disability for it, because it makes holding down a job for any length of time impossible, and right this minute that is looking like a pretty good option.
My useless sleep doctor, whom I waited a YEAR to get the sleep study with (yay public health programs!) did not even give me the right setting to use... he only tested me up to 14cmH20, told my doctor I had much more severe sleep apnea than that and to "try" 15 and that it probably wouldn't work, and if not, I should get another sleep study. (IE, I get to wait a whole year again, possibly to be sent home without useful results a second time. Meanwhile, my life circles the drain because I walk around in a permanent stupor.)
I did follow the advice on this site and try to raise the pressure a little. This made the air blowing into my eyeballs and the loud farting noises every time I move a micron much worse.
So, this is where I'm at. Too little pressure to be effective for apnea is too much pressure for my mask to be keep a seal. Too loose to end the physical torture and constant obnoxious farting noises is still too tight to wear it at all. It's too loose to seal securely enough to work, yet so tight I'm developing permanent red marks on my cheeks, nose, and forehead. This whole thing is a travesty. It's like a sick joke.
Forgive the venting, but I figured at least people on this site would understand the deeply overtired frustration and resultant need to blow off serious steam. (It was either to strangers here, or inflict this on my facebook friends, who incidentally, are apparently all on CPAP also and uniformly tell me how incredibly wonderful it is.) I'm glad so many of you have somehow, unimaginably, actually derived benefit from this. For me, it's been absolutely nothing but a horrible, frustrating experience. I mean, if I felt the tiniest bit of improvement after a month, maybe I'd feel differently. But I'm wasting all this time, torturing myself and sacrificing my sleep, for nothing.
(This post was last modified: 06-14-2013 06:37 AM by Nodoze.)